April 29, 2023

The Jokes That Flew Under The Radar


The Jokes That Flew Under The Radar
"National Team of the Moscow Aviation Insitute", one of the contestants in the humor TV show KVN. Ofitsialny Kanal KVN, Youtube

In a rare expression of public dissent, the comedy competition show KVN aired a team's sketch that joked about the draft, the economy, and the persecution of journalists on Pervy Kanal (Channel One), the most influential state-owned propaganda channel. 

Among the many comedy groups representing cities, universities, and schools in the competition was the National Team of the MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute). The group began their sketch with an announcement from a flight attendant: "For your safety, please(...) turn [your] roubles into Yuans."

Then, one of the actors nervously threw away his phone after receiving a notification, implying he was just called up. Afterward, MAI had more to say on their national currency's devaluation: "Don't be upset. I'm sure everything will be fine for us, just like the Russian rouble," raising eyebrows from fellow teammates.

Then, a group member asked: 

"- Who are we fighting against?

- Journalists

- No, I'm [talking] about [here in] KVN."

One teammate asked another to "not make up excuses like Iosif Prigozhin," alluding to a Russian music producer whose private conversation criticizing Vladimir Putin was leaked in late March. 

The team got a near-perfect score from the judges, except for one. Actor Dmitry Dyuzhev has openly supported the invasion of Ukraine, even holding a pro-Putin concert shortly after February 24. Another judge, Valdis Pelsh, has held concerts in illegally annexed Crimea.

The National Team of MAI passed on to KVN's semifinals, which will be aired in September. 

 

 

You Might Also Like

Kara-Murza Sentenced to 25 Years
  • April 17, 2023

Kara-Murza Sentenced to 25 Years

Journalist and democratic activist Vladimir Kara-Murza has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for telling the truth.
A Sanctioned Flight
  • April 10, 2023

A Sanctioned Flight

Journalists discovered a scheme in which a Russian entrepreneur bought planes in the EU, bypassing sanctions.
Anything to Stop The Show
  • April 04, 2023

Anything to Stop The Show

Moscow police attempted to interrupt an anti-war pianist's concert, going so far as to call in a bomb threat.
Screws are Tightening
  • April 12, 2023

Screws are Tightening

March has seen a serious tightening of the screws of repression by the Russian regime.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955